Originally published March 1, 2016 on autoTRADER.ca
More good news from Geneva today where Porsche is unveiling what they describe as a “pure sports car in classical design” in the new 911 R. The 911 R does away with many of the unnecessary complexities and luxuries more suited to your drive to your local golf club than a racetrack.
The new 911 R borrows styling elements from some of its contemporaries, the grill was direct copy and paste from the GT3, and bares a general resemblance to the Carrera. But it’s the 500 hp generated from the six-cylinder flat engine, that hits the century mark in 3.8 seconds from a stand still, where this 911 earns its suffix. That number places it in a rare category outmatched in power and acceleration only by the GT3 RS and the Turbo models.
Porsche purists will be happy that the vehicle only comes equipped with a six-speed manual sport transmission. All that power at your command is harnessed by Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) and a version of the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system that has been “specially adapted” for the 991 R. The generous use of carbon fibre on the hood and wings, combined with the missing back seat, keep the overall weight of the 911 R under the GT3 by 50 kg. If you’re like me, you can’t live without the rush of cruising at high speeds singing Taylor Swift songs out of tune while staying cool in the summer heat, so some of the reduced weight will be reintroduced after opting into the audio system and air conditioner.
Though my taste in driving music and need for some comfort will offend the purists Porsche is appealing to with the 911 R, and the thought of driving $211,000 of our hypothetical dollars at 323 km/h around our local track sounds awesome; driving a car worth $211,000 actual dollars might make cruising just above the posted speed limit on public roads in the 911 R enough of a thrill.
If the fact that “R” stands for racing and the most competitive race you’ve had in a car was for the last parking spot at WalMart fills your mind with dread don’t worry. Even if your drive means having to cautiously take on speed bumps, and say a prayer every time you hit a minor pot hole, Porsche has not left you out of the fun. An optional front axle lift system elevates the ground clearance by 30 mm with a touch of a button. Hardly enough to put you completely at ease on some roads, but will mean you won’t have to survey damage every time you hit an ant hill.
Only 991 of the 911 R’s will be made with production scheduled to begin this May in Zuffenhausen, Germany and delivery in late 2016.